6 Years of Freedom and 3 Valuable Lessons

Next month, my friend Clemetin will celebrate six full years of being out of prison. According to the statistics of the Bureau of Justice, three-quarters of all of the people released from prison get rearrested within five years. And indeed, Clemetin has been rearrested. Not once, but several times. He's been arrested for trumped up drug charges he wasn't guilty of, and he's been arrested for shoplifting, which he did. He's never ended up back in prison, but he gets picked … [Read more...]

Pushing Past Complexity to Discover Elegant Simplicity

I would not give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity. --Oliver Wendell Holmes Have you ever worked on a project that you thought was simple, but the more you worked on it, the more complicated and intertwined everything got? Did you worry that you were getting lost in a sea of ideas? But then, just when you were about to throw your hands up in frustration, you had a moment … [Read more...]

Trapped in a Crazy Court System

You might be wondering what happened to my felon friend, Clemetin, who was picked up in the park and accused of selling heroin back in August... A crime he didn't commit. A few weeks earlier, he'd been caught stealing a pack of peanuts from a store. He did do that. But that's a far cry from selling a deadly illegal substance. Punished for an Uncommitted Crime Since then, he's been in and out of court, sitting for days at a time, and then having to come back again … [Read more...]

How to Kick Your Email Addiction Once and For All

I just realized that I'm addicted to e-mail. Are you? I check my email constantly. A corner of my eye is always on my inbox. When something new appears, I'm sucked away from whatever else I'm trying to get done. And I don't like it. My email addiction adds up to feeling empty and unsatisfied because though I work all day, I don't get much done that feels like it amounts to anything significant. Test if You're Addicted to Email Try my little email addiction … [Read more...]

Do You Feel Safe Sitting on a Bench Enjoying a Summer Day?

I was away on vacation last week. We rented a car and drove to the Berkshires where we stayed in a lovely house overlooking the Housatonic River. The water was high and fast, making splashing and rippling sounds as it went by. Birds came and went from the feeder. We had plenty to eat and wine to drink. We enjoyed the beautiful days and gentle camaraderie of friends. We didn't give a thought to the luxury of feeling safe and unscathed by the world around us. But on … [Read more...]

Awe-Inspiring Family Values – The Decorah Bald Eagles

Every day, with my cup of coffee in hand, I click on this website to say good morning to the family of Bald Eagles in Decorah, Iowa. Thanks to my friend Pam, I've been watching them for many weeks. I often check on them several times a day.  A webcam fastened to a tree nearby gives me (and anyone else who chooses to look) a birds eye view of this little family. Their good-sized nest is well constructed in the fork of a big tree not far from a walking and biking path. A … [Read more...]

The Power of Imperfection

I’ll bet you like to do things really well. It feels good. And it’s satisfying. How Important is Perfection? Perfection may be satisfying, but takes a huge amount of time and energy and effort. How much effort should you put into making the things you do letter perfect? If you watched the amazing performances of ice skater Yuna Kim at the 2014 Winter Olympics, you’ll see a great example of perfection. She might not have won her second gold medal, but her … [Read more...]

Yes You Can! Learning to Say “Wow!” instead of “Whoa”

Do your inner voices ever hold you back? Imagine this: A new potential client just called to ask you to submit a proposal for a big job. Great possibilities here. You're the perfect person for the task! You're excited. But then in an eye blink, your "Whoa" voice takes over. Whoa. Whoa. What makes you think you’re qualified to do that? Even though you have a lot of related experience, you’ve never done exactly that before. In fact, pretty much everything you’ve … [Read more...]

Dance In the New Year

My friend M was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. Among the many messages she received, one really stood out. You Will Dance Again. To dance is to give and take. To dance is to call and respond. To dance is to ebb and flow. To dance is to lead and to follow To dance is to be full of the life energy that makes you one with the world. My friend M. has already started dancing again. I hope you will dance your way into and through the New … [Read more...]

Using Constructive Conversation to Push Past Anger

Anger takes too much energy to sustain for very long. And once it fades, it's time to put the pieces of your relationship back together again. If you sit with your anger for a few hours or days, it'll lose it's hold on you. That sharp, insistent sense of having been disrespected or betrayed gradually fades. After a few days, you might even forget who did what to whom and what was so hurtful. What Role Did You Play in the Dispute? Though you may still sense that you were … [Read more...]